Queensland Rugby as the governing body for the code in Queensland has a social responsibility to all of Queensland’s communities. This responsibility extends to the engagement of and support to Queenslanders from all walks of life. This commitment has shaped QRU’s Diversity strategy and the subsequent development of the Queensland Reds Indigenous Program.
The reach of the St.George Queensland Reds brand, Queensland Rugby Union’s (QRU) corporate notebook and staff infrastructure to support and assist Queensland’s Indigenous population is one that we don’t take for granted. These assets are now heavily leveraged to assist young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to gain an education, develop aspiration, follow their dreams and reach their true potential as a person and leader in their community.
Education and employment are critical elements for the development of pride, opportunity and viability for all communities. QRU aims to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from remote, regional and urban communities with the support and pathways that are critical for achievement in these key focus areas.
It is widely recognised that poor school attendance leads to poor academic achievement and that Indigenous students are estimated to be up to 2 ½ years behind non-Indigenous students in subjects such as science, maths and literacy. The Queensland Reds Indigenous Program (QRIP) highly incentivises school attendance and behaviour which is turn leads to increased learning and achievement levels. This increased learning ability allows for an enjoyable experience in the classroom that leads to better retention rates and employability upon Year 12 attainment.
QUEENSLAND REDS INDIGENOUS PROGRAM (QRIP) STRATEGY
The Queensland Reds Indigenous Program (QRIP) was established in 2010. Initially delivered into the Mornington Island and Doomadgee communities, the program has continued to expand and now delivers state-wide to encompass the remote communities of Yarrabah, Woorabinda, Cherbourg, Lockhart River and Pormpuraaw as well as significant program delivery within our urban areas.
Closely aligned to the Closing the Gap commitment by the Federal Government to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, in particular providing a better future for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, QRIP was developed with a charter ’to support and encourage young Indigenous Queenslanders to stay in school, seek employment and further training and as a result become a leader within their community’.
Using Queensland Rugby Union staff in program delivery and the St.George Queensland Reds players, brand and corporate notebook for inspiration, aspiration and to unlock opportunities, the QRIP is built on the values of:
Leadership: Fostering personal, cultural and educational leadership through a multi-faceted approach aligned with cultural kinship systems
Teamwork: Developing a ’whole of community’ approach which demonstrates and highlights the key strengths of individuals and how those skills can support the collective group
Commitment: Demonstrate a commitment from all parties and stakeholders to ensure a concerted and sustained effort to support not only the success of the program; but also the success of the individual, as well as the combined group and/or community.
With an identified focus on a ‘crayon to career’ program, the QRIP structure ensures we are delivering to the betterment of a generation of people. This is achieved through:
Pillar 1 – Growth and Sustainability: Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Advisory Group and the Queensland Reds Indigenous Round
Pillar 2 – Community Engagement and Leadership: Community Development and Reds Future Indigenous Leaders Program
Pillar 3 – Education and Employment: Reds Generation Next and Employment Strategy